You’ve probably seen the rumors by now, but if you haven’t, here goes: The New York Yankees are reportedly targeting Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo. And hey, good for them. If you are going to go out and target specific players, shoot high. Luis Castillo is under team control for 4.5 more seasons before he reaches free agency. And he’s also sitting here around the mid-point of the season with a 2.56 ERA, leading the league in fewest hits allowed per 9-innings pitched, and has a career best 10.7 strikeouts per 9-innings pitched. He hasn’t even reached arbitration yet, so he’s making next to no money. Somehow that matters for a team like the Yankees these days.

Luis Castillo is quite the pitcher these days. But, his 2019 season is looking an awful lot like the All-Star season of Edinson Volquez, too. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But a high walk rate is an issue right now for Castillo. In the past two seasons he’s had much better control than he’s had in 2019. He’s different than the guy he has been in the previous two seasons. Some of that is for the better. A lot of it, in fact, is for the better. But not all of it. Those walk totals are concerning.

With all of that said, the Cincinnati Reds don’t exactly have someone to replace Luis Castillo with. And he’s not an impending free agent now, or anytime soon. There’s no reason to trade the right-handed pitcher unless you just flat out pay through the nose to acquire him. To me, this is similar to another time when the Reds were involved in a trade for a long-term controlled, established pitcher. When Cincinnati traded for Mat Latos he had 4 years of team control remaining. He was young and had pitched very well before the trade. And the Reds paid through the nose to acquire him. The deal would involve three guys that went on to become All-Stars, and one guy who had already been an All-Star. Edinson Volquez was traded along with prospects Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger for Latos after the 2011 season.

That’s the kind of trade package you want to look for if you are even going to entertain the idea of moving Luis Castillo. Multiple elite prospects to headline the deal, or at least young big leaguers who would be under control for multiple years who have the potential to be all-star caliber talents.

The Reds are looking to compete. They are looking to buy. They will have somewhere in the neighborhood of $50M to spend this offseason on free agents to help fill out their 2020 roster. If a team wants to acquire Luis Castillo, the Reds should absolutely listen. No one should ever just be off of the table. But someone needs to be willing to overpay to make it happen, too. Otherwise Cincinnati should not have any interest in making a trade here.

63 Responses

  1. Dbfromnva

    Why would the Yankees overpay the Reds in a trade when they have a track record of fleecing the Reds in the past?

    • Bob Howsam, Jr.

      The Yankees would “overpay” the Reds for Castillo precisely b/k they realize that: (1) Dick Williams is THEE stupidest GM in baseball, …, so stupid, in fact that, despite the fact he’s related to ?-not-Entertain-you, he’s no longer allowed to approve player personnel decisions/moves; and (2) the Reds never met a trade or draft choice they couldn’t flock(-of-seagulls) up. (Read: Remind me again why the Reds drafted Nick (unlikely-to-stick) Lodolo first instead of Kumar (the) Rock(er)-of-Gibraltar???

      The Yankees could get Castillo, Jose Iglesias, Tanner Roark, the other Iglesias, Derek Dietrich, AND David Hernandez in exchange for: (1) Gary Sanchez; (2) Juan Encarnarcion; (3) the Missile (allowing him to re-Open his garage-band (“Can’t Shoot Straight”); and (4) six can-miss prospects, w/missing a beat, and

      Reds’ mgt and fan-base would tout it as the “best” trade since the Reds got fleeced to bring Junior’s bag of bones back to the Rhine.

      You know I speak the truth.

      • asinghoff99

        If you’re going to speak the truth, at least include the truth. First, Williams took over as GM in December of 2016. The Straily for Castillo trade happened in January of 2017, so we wouldn’t even be having this conversation if it wasn’t for Dick Williams making that trade. Secondly, there’s a really big reason that the Reds didn’t draft Kumar Rocker, and that’s because Rocker is a true freshman who not only wasn’t draft eligible, he won’t be draft eligible next year either.

      • Reddy

        Is this what happens when a baseball comment gets run through a Paul Simon lyric generator? I couldn’t follow that.

      • Bob Howsam, Jr.


        Appreciate the info regarding Rocker’s draft eligibility. To err is human. Obviously, I feel humbled, and apologize for the ill-informed error.

        As as Dick Williams is concerned, while the sample size is 2018 and 2019 YTD, and Williams may deserve credit for the Straily-for-Castillo trade, if it was actually his idea, the fact remains the Castellini’s thought so little of the team’s progress under his leadership they brought someone in who actually has a clue on player personnel decisions making him, effectively, GM Emeritus. And everyone not in a coma knows the team unfurled the white flag on the tear down rebuild blueprint in the offseason and while the team is arguably somewhat better this year than the previous post-Dusty Rumpke’s dumpster year as a result of the off-season acquisitions, everyone not in a coma knows a fire sale is coming ahead of the trade deadline and we’ll once again be stone cold dead in the agua. Williams owns that.

  2. Jon Ryker

    I would look more into trading Suarez in that kind of a deal. I love Suarez. Probably a lot of other teams would too. But they do have replacements for him.

    They don’t have anybody like Castillo.

    • Bob Howsam, Jr.

      Completely agree.

      Suarez is more overrated than Derek Dietrich’s PED supplier (sarcasm intended).

      But if we’re gonna move Mr. Two Minutes Ago, I’d suggest we package him w/Votto in a trade w/Toronto.

      Votto was two minutes ago two botched knee surgeries ago, he’s pining to return to the land of ice storms and bad pronunciations (“aboot face”), bad legacy boy band PMs and even if all we got for the Alan “Gene(one)” Parsons Project and Joey “Ramone” Choking Up Votto was an autographed picture of the Maple ?s Last Stanley Cup, the salary dump would be worth it.

      You know I speak the truth.

  3. MK

    Ask for Aaron Judge and their 4 top prospects. When they say no, thank them for calling.

    • Colt Holt

      +1. I literally would turn down every proposal that does not include judge or Torres. Too bad we could have had Torres for Chapman anyways…

      • Bob Howsam, Jr.


        Lay off the 45’s. Two words:
        Treatment now.

      • Bob Howsam, Jr.

        I’d take Aaron Boone for David “Harry” Bell-a-Funny-How-Bad-We-Still-Suck in a straight-up trade NY minute.

        Remind me again why we didn’t hire a proven winner like Joe Girardi instead of this goof?

        David Bell is like the funeral director you hope you stumble upon when your parents die.

        Soft-spoken, tremendously nice guy who never met a pig (which may explain why he was hired to manage the Reds, given their history in the industry) on whom he couldn’t apply a generous amount of Nordstrom ?-stick.

        David Bell is a guy who could explain, in articulate terms, in a low-key voice barely above a whisper, why your brother, who just killed himself, by leaving the car on in the garage last night, is perfectly capable of turning it around next season.

        I graduated from St. X. I understand there was some Uber-wealthy dude named Keating who financed our natatorium.

        Tell me again how long the guy went to prison?

        Look, tune into what I’m telling you; there’s only one human being on the planet who can guide these jokers to the promised land:

        Johnny Bench

        Wake up and smell Oklahoma.

  4. DaveCT

    The Yankees and the NYC media will make Frazier look like the second coming of Mike Trout and Castillo look like an afterthought. It’s what they do. And they will do it to all smaller market teams. Just listen to the sports radio there. The GM, Cashman, will never in a thousand years overpay for Castillo. In fact, if he doesn’t fleece somebody, the hordes will release the hounds. It’s the same in Boston, although with Dombrowski, his rep is to trade any and all prospects.

    • Shawn

      I would hate to trade him but if you could get a package of Frazier, Torres and Abreu you would have to take it. Starting RFer, Starting SS and a top 100 starting pitcher. That would be hard to turn down.

      • Xerxes

        Yanks fan here.

        1. I think it’s a longshot the Reds trade Castillo to the Bronx.

        2. Seeing a lot of requests here for Torres. Zero chance that happens. Gleybar’s the best hitter on the team. He’s on pace for close to 40 HR and is hitting .290 as a middle infielder. Plus he makes no money. They won’t trade him.

        3. Judge isn’t going anywhere either. Face of the franchise. Icon-level adoration in New York AND one of the top-selling jerseys in baseball (if not THE top selling jersey).

        So… what would a package look like?

        I think the Yankees dangle Miguel Andujar. ROY runner-up last year who is out for the year with a shoulder injury. LeMaheiu is signed for another year. All indications are they want to bring back Gregorius. So Andujar is trade fodder in the right deal. The Reds probably ask for Frazier too. Those are two everyday position players.

        Beyond that – how do you make it hurt if you are the Reds?

        I’d ask for Deivi Garcia. 20-year old pitching prospect is already lighting up AA. He’s smallish but has a four pitch mix.
        His last two starts include 5 no-hit innings (9 K’s) and a 15K game. Again he’s 20 years old and already in AA. Already people want to make Pedro comparisons – that’s unlikely and unfair… but if he’s HALF of that… that’s a VERY good pitcher. When updates its prospect rankings at midseason, expect Garcia to be a top 50 global prospect.

        I’d stay away from Florial. As a Yankee fan – he’d be the guy I’d give up over Frazier/Andujar/Garcia… which is why the Reds should steer clear. While Florial is billed as a potential 5-tool player… the tool that is the biggest question mark is the HIT tool. He has struggled in the low minors to make contact consistently. His K% is through the roof and recognizing breaking pitches has been a challenge. He’s also been hurt most of this season and about half of last season. You don’t want him.

        The other piece to ask for would be either Domingo German or Jonathan Loaisiga aka Johnny Lasagna.

        German got off to a great start this year. He’s always had the stuff and is showing signs of being a #3 starter. Loaisiga has the bigger ceiling… but he’s struggled to stay healthy and likely profiles as a reliever. Again, health scares me off.

        So if you’re the Reds… and you are giving up 4.5 years of control for a bonafide ace… this needs to hurt the Yankees… and remember the Yanks are chasing a WS – they won’t give up anything significant off their current roster

        Here’s my trade proposal.

        NYY gets:
        Luis Castillo

        CIN gets:
        Clint Frazier
        Miguel Andujar
        Deivi Garcia
        Domingo German

        The Reds get a young starting OF who has had success at the big league level. They get the ROY-runner up from last year. They get a SP prospect with a HUGE ceiling… and another mid-rotation starter in German. That’s THREE MLB-ready players and a potential front of the rotation starter.

        This may be too steep a price to pay for Cashman… but if I’m the Reds this is what I ask for.

      • Wes

        I agree Torres isn’t moving. They won’t trade away their club they are using while trying to improve it.

        Reds have 5 outfielders and 6 infielders. They aren’t going to trade out of a position of need to over accumulate Where there’s no need.

        Dead deal.

      • Fish

        @Xerxes, you’re missing the point, if the yankees aren’t including Torres, the reds have no reason to even talk to them about Castillo. If the yankees don’t want to do it, that’s fine, I’d be amenable to a Tanner Roark for Clint Frazier swap straight up or with maybe some outside the top 30 prospects from the reds side.

  5. Michael P

    Very interesting. Would you trade Castillo to the Yankees for Clint Frazier, Florial (#1 Yankees prospect) and let’s say another top 5? Or even more far fetched, trade Castillo/Iggy to the Yanks for Frazier, Gleybor Torres, and Florial? The latter scenario would fill two holes in line up with controllable talent.

    • Colt Holt

      Frazier Florial I would not even dignify with a counter proposal.

    • Craig

      No. I am not on the “Castillo is untouchable” train by any stretch, but you can’t trade a controllable ace-in-the-making for anything less than a top tier prospect with ML experience (i.e. Torres), a solid secondary ML player (Frazier), and a couple high-ceiling prospects (Garcia and Schmidt). As Doug wrote above, a deal like this would look a lot like the Alonso-Volquez-Grandal-Boxberger for Latos deal.

      I could live with Torres/Frazier/Garcia/Schmidt for Castillo. That would fill 2 holes in the roster (SS/LF) with controllable players and re-stock the farm. The problem, though, is the Reds would be left with a gaping hole atop the rotation. Unless the Reds are going to take half of that $50 million they have this offseason and devote it to 1 pitcher who wants to come here, I am having a hard time seeing where Castillo’s production is replaced in 2020-21.

    • Fish

      Not unless they threw in gleyber Torres and a top 100 pitching prospect (that they’d likely have to acquire from another team).

    • Bob Howsam, Jr.

      Look, I’d trade Joey Votto, Iglesias Uno, Iglesias Deux, Suarez, Tanner Roark, David Hernandez, Derek Steroids, Tucker the Barn-is-Empty, man it smells like-Puig in here, and Bob for Gary Sanchez.

      Step Two-Drop whatever Quran is necessary to: (1) lose the Dick and hire Billy Beane; (2) Lose David “ring the Bell” (think: American Sniper); (3) hire Johnny Bench as our manager; and (4) close the. notch w/a condom.

      Aim small, Miss Small girlfriends.

  6. Tom

    The fact is that NY doesn’t have enough in their farm to make an attractive offer. Plus Yankee farm hands always go bust after trades. Pass. If San Diego or Atlanta wants to talk, that could be different.

  7. Oldtimer

    If the Reds could trade Frank Robinson in 1965 or Tony Perez in1976 (just two examples) there are no untouchables.

    • CP

      One of the worst trades in franchise history, is not a great defense for justifying the Reds even considering trading Castillo. That being said, no one is untouchable for the right price…

      • Oldtimer

        Any Reds player can be traded. Period.

        PS the 1965 trade eventually brought Clay Carroll and Pedro Borbon to the Reds as well as Alex Johnson for a couple years.

      • Oldtimer

        Of course they can. He can reject (block) the trade but he would have value in a trade.

    • MK

      Might be a few different guys making the trades today. Why not throw in Christy Mathewson.

      • Hoyce

        Votto would have serious negative value. And I’m a homer

    • MikeD

      Oldtimer, I may be close to your age, but your observation is kind of comparing apples to oranges. Different GM and both the players you mentioned were positional players. Also, while I was a big Doggie fan, he was heading toward the latter part of his career and the Reds wanted to get Dan Dreesan (sp) into the lineup.

      • Oldtimer

        Understand. Perez was productive into the mid 1980s. I daresay more so than Driessen.

        Sparky said it was a mistake. Howsam said it was a mistake. I agree.

      • Michael Smith

        Define productive oldtimer. 77-78 he was around 120 ops+. After that he was average. Had one season with and ops over 800. Drissen had a 115 ops+ during his time with reds and it was never below 102.

      • Oldtimer

        Compare what Perez did from 1977 to mid 1980s to what Driessen did.

        Similar. Not identical. Driessen never fulfilled the promise he showed in mid 1970s.

        Trading Perez for WOODIE FRYMAN and DALE MURRAY was awful. Period.

      • Oldtimer

        First off, both Sparky Anderson and Bob Howsam (best Reds Mgr and GM in my lifetime or yours) recognized that Perez had value off the field. Driessen did not. Perez was a leader. Driessen was not.

        From 1977 to 1982 Perez averaged 109 OPS+ and Driessen 113 OPS+ hence similar productivity.

        Perez was at the tail end of his career and Driessen in his prime yet similar output.

        Anybody who thinks Driessen compares to Perez in any way isn’t thinking.

  8. Doc

    They could get to start all over on their rebuild. There is nobody they would bring in who could provide what he is giving them, nor do it within the window that is opening.

    It makes no sense to develop a top of the line talent, then trade him away for more prospect talent, none of whom, in statistical likelihood, would reach Castillo’s talent level.

    Why would someone want to start breaking down the first glimpse of a decent starting staff that we have had since before the Price era?

    • Colt Holt

      If you get Torres, your wins just come at a different place, and potentially with lower risk.

  9. Hoyce

    I would consider trading Castillo for Torres, Frazier and loazigia sp?
    Or def would to Padres for gore and their minor league catcher ranked @35 overall prospect
    Then make a package centered around India for Caleb smith of Marlins.

    • Fish

      Not definitely, I’d entertain Gore, tatis + a couple other prospects. You have to set a sky high price.

  10. Dv

    If the Reds are trading with the Yankees I would expect 4 lousy prospects with zero upside in exchange for Castillo.

  11. Fish

    The only way I’d consider it would be if the Yankees traded for a top 100 prospect pitcher then gave up that guy, gleyber Torres, Frazier & their top prospect. Even then it’s a maybe.

  12. JTMoney!

    If Devi Garcia is not involved I say go f’ yourselves and thanks for calling… Torres, Devi, Frazier, and Florial

  13. Fish

    One high-end arm that will not be available is Luis Castillo of the Reds, according to major league sources. Rumors surfaced this week linking Castillo to the Yankees.

    Asked if Castillo might be traded, one American League executive in touch with the Reds texted: “Do u do stand up comedy in ur spare time ? That’s hilarious ! Nfw !”

  14. Cguy

    Seriously, Luis Castillo is a top tier property. I’m sure he’s on most team’s radar. The Reds should entertain at least 3 bona fide offers before even considering making a trade. San Diego & the Reds could actually have some mutually beneficial deals to discuss. Yankees don’t have enough to get Castillo, unless they include Frazier, Hicks (I know TJS), & Gleybar Torres.

  15. Wes

    I can’t remember a player with as much trade value as Castillo- gotta listen….Here are the only teams I talk too-

    Rays- Franco, honeywell, and liberator (McKay will be used down the stretch)

    Padres- gore, Urias, Patino

    Braves- Pache Wright Anderson

    Twins- Lewis, kirilloff, Gordon

    Dodgers- urias may ruiz

    3 absolute studs and then a throw in piece should be asking price

    If I’m twins or Padres I pay that price. Braves and Rays need to see how season develops

    • DanD

      For the Padres I would also want Naylor and from the Braves I would want Waters & Wilson

  16. Bill

    SS Torres and RF Frazier along with AA RHPs Abreu, and Garcia.

  17. DaveCT

    Boxburger just got DFA’d by KC. Maybe we can pick him up and try him as a starter.

  18. RedsKoolAidDrinker

    Trading Castillo is certainly throwing in the towel for this year and is a HUGE hit so it’s gotta be a HUGE haul or forget about it. . So if trading Castillo, might as well throw in Jose Iglesias to soften the blow a bit for the Yanks losing Torres bc I’m not doing any deal without him.
    The Yankees have no problems replenishing depth so I’m gonna tell they need to give up several tickets from their mid to late top 25 to go along with Torres, Frazier, Abreu, and D. Garcia. That would be Whitlock and Sauer but also try and squeeze out Medina. Ton of arms there I know.

  19. The Duke

    It’d have to start with Torres, Frazier, and any 2 arms of the Reds choosing in their farm system. I’d also dictate they’d have to take Alex Wood’s contract, pick up the rest of any deferred money we are paying Jr and anyone else, and throw in 1-2 prospects of the Reds choosing in DSL through Low A.

    Yankees Get:
    Luis Castillo
    Alex Wood
    Yasiel Puig (Frazier takes his spot and the Yanks eat some more money on an expiring contract)
    Deferred money responsibility

    Reds Get:
    Gleybar Torres
    Clint Frazier
    Deivi Garcia
    Clarke Schmidt
    Luis Gil
    Albert Abreu

    Honestly still not sure if i’d do that if i’m the Reds.

    • Michael P

      This is really difficult discussion. On one hand, if the Reds can get an overpay that fills multiple holes going forward you have to listen. On the other hand, young controllable aces are far and few between.

      I looked at the 2020 FA pitchers that will be available and most are 30 or older. Hard to sink the type of ‘ace’ money they will command into and older arm due to higher potential arm risks. With that being said, the Reds may be looking at a two trade scenario:

      1) Trade Luis Castillo for 2 mlb starters and 1/2 top end prospect talent. Yankees for example would need to give up Clint Frazier, Gleybor Torres, Florial and another top 10 choice (Garcia or Pereira).

      2) Replace Castillo with another ACE such as Trevor Bauer (28). Create a package around Iggy/India/Ervin and only accept if Bauer extends contract. This eats up 1/2 of fre agenacy money.

      3) Sign a stud RF in off season… What about George Springer?

      2020: 1B: Votto, 2B: Senzel, SS: Torres, 3B Suarez, LF: Winker, CF Clint Frazier, RF George Springer — SP1 Trever Bauer, SP2 Sonny Grey, SP3 Alex Wood (may be time to get a cheap contract) SP4 Mahle, SP5 Tony Santillan — CP: Amir Garrett..

      It’s fun to dream and spend other people’s money!

      • The Duke

        I wouldn’t touch Florial with a 20 foot pole. Can’t hit a breaking pitch, hasn’t had success above Low A, and he’s had injuries. He’s a product of hype built off of flashy tools, rookie ball dominance, and the extra bump that all Yankees prospects seem to get.

    • Fish

      I’d do this deal and its one of the very few potential packages I would be ok with the reds taking from the yankees.

  20. Schottzie

    We heard similar reports to teams having the temerity to ask about Raisel Iglesias about 2-3 years ago, now his trade value is modest at best. Good times.

    Why not try something different and sell high on a guy for once.

  21. AirborneJayJay

    I’d hate to trade Castillo, but certainly would listen.
    Yankees-SS Gleyber Torres, OF Clint Frazier, RHP Deivi Garci, RHP Michael King, RHP Clarke Schmidt.
    Braves-RHP Ian Anderson, OF Cristian Pache, OF Drew Waters, RHP Kyle Wright, LHP Kolby Allard.
    Astros-OF Kyle Tucker, 1B/OF Yordan Alvarez, RHP Forrest Whitley, RHP Joshua James, OF Miles Straw.
    The phone lines are now open.

  22. AirborneJayJay

    Apparently the Yankees are none too happy with Clint Frazier at the moment. When Frazier got demoted recently, he took all of the 3 days he had to report to AAA. That “message” from Frazier did not go unnoticed by the Yankees front office. The Yankees just put Stanton back on the IL and could have recalled Frazier. But instead the Yankees called up another player “to send a message” back to Frazier and thus won’t be taking him to London.
    The relationship of Frazier and the Yankees seems to be crumbling from both directions. Might be time for the Reds to strike while the iron is hot. The Yankees don’t want a rental, so maybe the Reds can’t offer up Roark in this case. But maybe the Reds can offer them DeSclafani for Frazier. The Yankees might come down off of their high horse for a starting pitcher with 1 1/2 years left instead of a rental in Roark. The Blue Jays will try to get too much, more than just Frazier, from the Yankees for Marcus Stroman. So maybe DeSclafani + a lower level prospect could get it done. DeSclafani had been on a little roll until his last outing. If he can string together a couple of good outings maybe the Yanks could be interested and swayed.

  23. Tv

    fangraphs did a study that concluded even if a team trades multiple Elite prospects they are rarely ever good. Teams know what players are overhyped and trade those players. You trade for young controllable Talent when you plan on competing next year and the Reds have young. controllable Talent. You don’t trade these guys for suspects it rarely ever works. This is bat crap crazy talk.

  24. Tv

    FIRED that what they all should get if they did something so incredibly stupid. You dont trade aces with 4 years of control for suspects. Geez is this page for kids?